-In a shocking and surreal turn of events, the NBA season has been suspended, as it was announced that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus. Gobert's test result came out shortly before the Jazz's game last night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which never tipped off. You can read more about this ongoing story from our own Howard Megdal.
This is extremely unfortunate news for a multitude of reasons. The biggest concern is for Gobert and others who have the virus, and that they make a speedy recovery. With the NBA season being suspended, it's clear that the league is shifting its focus to making sure players are healthy and that this virus does not spread anymore than it has. Ultimately, as a sports fan, it doesn't feel real, and it's sad to cope with the fact that we don't know the next time we'll see NBA basketball.
Earlier yesterday, it was expected that the NBA was leaning toward not allowing fans at NBA games, but that the games would still be played. Some owners were in favor, while others pushed for the season to be suspended. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that only one owner believed that the season should progress as normal for now: James Dolan.
-In real basketball news, the Knicks did pick up a win last night, even though some of their old demons showed up. New York defeated the Atlanta Hawks 136-131 in overtime. These two teams are no stranger to free basketball, playing in a double-overtime game earlier this season. Like that game, the Knicks nearly blew a late lead, allowing the Hawks to come back from 18 down in the 4th quarter with Trae Young tying the game with 16.6 seconds left in regulation. You can read more about the game from our own Alex Wolfe.
While the Knicks did let a guard drop 40 (42) on them for back-to-back nights (this time, it was Young), the team leaned on a different one of their own young players to give them a boost. R.J. Barrett powered his way to 26 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Julius Randle joined the rookie in dominating the hapless Atlanta defense, scoring 33 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
Kevin Knox chipped in with 12 points off the bench, including going three-of-three from beyond the arc, while Mitchell Robinson had 16 points of his own and did not miss a shot.
If this was the last night for the NBA this season, at least the Knicks gave us one final thing to cheer about.